“Constant State of Panic” Midwest Premiere

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PATRICK GABRIDGE’S  CONSTANT STATE OF PANIC 
MIDWESTERN PREMIERE AT CLOCKWISE THEATRE

Constant State of Panic, Patrick Gabridge’s darkly comic love story on the challenges of holding a marriage together amidst the uncertainties of the New Millennium, is receiving its Midwestern premiere, Friday, April 17th at Waukegan’s Clockwise Theatre. The production runs through Sunday, May 10th.

An edgy funhouse ride blurring the lines between reality and fantasy and boasting exciting stage special effects, Constant State of Panic  follows David and Sonia Tamzeh as they confront fear-mongering reporters, menacing Bible ladies, invasive government agents, circling helicopters, advancing armies and more!

Jeff Award-winning Richard Shavzin directs, with a cast featuring Michael Wollner (Lake Villa) and Nicholia Aguirre (Evanston), Megan Skord Campbell (Lake Zurich), and Clockwise company member Christopher Davis (Chicago).

Patrick Gabridge is the author of the plays  Pieces of Whitey, Distant Neighbors, Reading the Mind of God, and Hearing Voices. His work has been broadcast on NPR and other stations across the U.S. Mr. Gabridge co-founded the Chameleon Stage Theatre Company in Denver, the Rhombus Playwrights’ Group in Boston, the online Playwright Marketing Binge, as well as the publication,  Market InSight for Playwrights. Mr. Gabridge’s published novels include  Moving: A Life in Boxes and Tornado Siren.

Richard Shavzin directed the world premieres of Defamation, Tops or Bottoms, Persistence of Vision and  Fallout.  He won a Jeff for his Strawdog Theatre direction of Burn This, and directed the Jeff-nominated productions of Criminal Hearts, Cat’s-Paw, The Big Funk, A Mother, A Daughter and A Gun, Skeletons, and  Hurlyburly. Mr. Shavzin serves on the Council of Actors Equity and on the National Board of Directors of SAG-AFTRA, and is a member of Clockwise Theatre’s artistic advisory board.

Constant State of Panic runs April 17th through May 10th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 3PM. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased here, by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006, or at the door. Group rates (10 or more, pre-paid) are available.

Clockwise Theatre is located at 221 N. Genesee Street in downtown Waukegan. Ample, free on-street parking is available. For more information, visit Clockwise Theatre.

Winners of First Dandelion Gallery Juried Show Announced

Immediate Release         

Dandelion Gallery is pleased to announce the winners of its First Juried Show. Twenty eight artists were accepted to this inaugural event which opened last Saturday March 21 during the fourth anniversary of ArtWauk in downtown Waukegan’s arts and entertainment district.  The juried show also celebrated the fourth anniversary of Dandelion Gallery.

First place was awarded to Erick Anderson. He will be the featured artist at Dandelion Gallery at a future ArtWauk and received a one year membership to the gallery.  Second place was awarded to Lorinda Murphy. She received a three month membership to the gallery.  Third place was awarded to Darlene Bock with a one month gallery membership.  Honorable mentions were given to Mike Litewski, Gary G, Sue Thomson and Tom Biegalski.

The winning artists were announced during the opening reception. The juried show exhibit will continue through the April ArtWauk on April 18 and close on May 9.

Dandelion Gallery is located at 109 S. Genesee Street, Waukegan, and is open each ArtWauk, the third Saturday of each month from 5-9 PM.  It is also open by appointment.  For more information, go to www.dandeliongallery.org.

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First Place – Erick Anderson: “Dilapidated Structure”

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Second Place – Lorinda Murphy

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Third Place – Darlene Bock: “Ants”

Are Volunteers Your Lifeblood?

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Then the Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Workshop May 6th in Waukegan is for you!

This lively five-hour workshop will focus on the basics of working with volunteers: how to recruit, retain and recognize them for their hard work for your nonprofit organization. After an examination of three useful techniques for volunteer recruitment, we’ll discuss the importance of volunteer orientation, training, and leadership opportunities. We will wrap up with a discussion of volunteer alternatives, including using small task forces to engage more people in your organization’s work.

This workshop is presented by Illinois Main Street, The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Heritage Consulting, Inc.

For an agenda, workshop leader bio and to register, click here!

Mardi Gras Success!

 

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Waukegan Main Street’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser was Saturday, February 7th, at Glen Flora Country Club.  Thanks to the Mardi Gras committee and several volunteers who worked diligently on plans, silent auction items, and sponsors, this year was quite an extravaganza.  Returning this year is DJ at Large Christopher Thelen, who provided the music for the New Orleans-style night.

DJ at Large

Glen Flora’s executive chef worked up a Cajun-inspired menu to tantalize the taste buds.  And casino gaming, a $500-prize raffle, tarot card reading by the Divine Miss E, and silent auction were going on throughout the event.  “The casino gaming is always a big hit , especially since we have some local celebrities as dealers” said Jane Ferry, Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street.  “This year the top prizes include a 40″ television donated by Grand Appliance and Bears tickets donated by North Shore Printers.  We are continuously overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors and sponsors.”

SiVer Place

Silent auction items from a variety of donors in the downtown and lakefront – or “Main Street District” – and outside Waukegan started arriving at the Main Street office over the last month. “The silent auction items run the gamut from children’s activity baskets to great outerwear to original artwork to Bears tickets,” said Ferry.  This year’s items have been posted regularly on Main Street’s Facebook page and include  several  ‘experience items’, such as theatre tickets, a tattoo gift certificate, a wine and food pairing at The Terrace at SiVer Place.

“We are lucky enough to have three women who have run the silent auction preparation and day of activities for years return again this year.  It is amazing to watch them create baskets … and sometimes fight over what gift certificate or bottle of wine should go with something.”

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While most of the tickets are pre-sold for the event, walk-ins were welcome. Money raised at the event supports Waukegan Main Street continuing efforts to revitalize downtown Waukegan and the lakefront.  “It’s an entertaining evening, giving people a chance to get dressed on a cold February evening, socialize and enjoy.  As the French say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”  #MainStMardiGras

Expanding Learning Spaces at Waukegan Public Library

Downtown Waukegan will be full of construction project in 2015, with the Lake County Court Expansion and CLC’s new building both getting underway.  In addition, our award-winning library will go through a complete renovation of the main floor to better accommodate the needs of the community.  We at Waukegan Main Street are thrilled at all the positive changes in our downtown!

Architect’s rendering of the new main floor of Waukegan Public Library.
Architect’s rendering of the new main floor of Waukegan Public Library.

Starting January 10th, the Waukegan Public Library will undergo a major transformation of its main floor to accommodate the changing and growing needs of the community. Ensuring that the environment of the library is focused on learning and discovery, the redesign includes six new classrooms and collaborative study spaces, educational exhibits, upgrades in technology, better seating and lighting, and a large media wall.

In an effort to reflect the changing role of the library, the new spaces will further define the library as a Learning Center for the community. It will include functional, innovative, and engaging spaces that will help community members on their individual paths to success. The redesign is another step in increasing literacy rates by 25% by the year 2020.

For the last 30 years, the Waukegan Public Library has offered literacy programs for adults and families with the help of partner organizations and outside funding sources. However, current library classroom spaces and collection materials are no longer adequate to meet the demands of a growing population  in need of free resources and services.

New classrooms and collaborative study spaces on the main floor.
New classrooms and collaborative study spaces on the main floor

“In the past, we had to have had to be very creative in finding learning spaces for groups. Our classrooms are full every night of the week and our classes have long lists of students waiting for an opening. With two new classrooms and four collaborative study spaces on the main floor, we will be able to serve more members of the community,” said Gale Graves, Education and Literacy Services Manager.

“Libraries are … about reading, resources, and access to information,” said Richard Lee, Waukegan Public Library Executive Director. “We are committed to creating a community of readers from cradle to career. When our residents are successful, our city will be successful.”

The library will be open normal hours during construction except for the week of January 10-18. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Waukegan Park District recognized for Conservation Achievements

Congratulations to our Waukegan Park District for receiving the Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the Chicago Wilderness!  The Waukegan Park District is one of 13 sites honored.

From great woodlands to outdoor classrooms, the Chicago Wilderness Conservation and Native Landscaping Award recognizes sites within the greater Chicago region that demonstrate excellence in site-based restoration, native landscaping, and conservation design. These practices create and protect habitat for a variety of native plant and animal species, and result in important environmental benefits for both people and nature.

The Waukegan Park District received the award for habitat restoration in Bowen Park’s Glen Flora Ravine. Waukegan Park District President Terry Duffy stated, “The Waukegan Park District is fortunate to have such a great partner, the Waukegan Harbor Citizen’s Advisory Group, in the Bowen Park ravine restoration project. This award wouldn’t be possible without their significant contributions. The District’s restoration efforts will enable future generations to enjoy the ravine’s beautiful natural areas, special plants and animals. Ravine restoration also supports an important ecological purpose, purifying water as it travels to Lake Michigan. Receiving this recognition is like icing on the cake, thank you Chicago Wilderness!”

The natural areas of Chicago’s wilderness are home to a wide diversity of species and rare habitats, and provide the region’s residents with opportunities for recreation and exploration, as well as clean air and water, flood protection and so much more. Yet the region’s natural areas are threatened by fragmentation; invasive plant and animal species; pollution; and the impacts of climate change. To address these threats, through the restoration of the Glen Flora Ravine, the Waukegan Park District is demonstrating a commitment to maintain the health of local nature to benefit both people and wildlife.

“The Chicago Wilderness alliance is so pleased to recognize Waukegan Park District,” said Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Executive Director of Chicago Wilderness. “They are helping to ensure that our region’s natural heritage remains vibrant for generations to come.”

Ring the Registers: Small Business Saturday Hits 5th Year

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As Small Business Saturday celebrates its fifth year November 29th, downtown Waukegan businesses are ready for the big day.  From Jimmie’s Corner, the new coffee shop at 10 N. Sheridan Road serving up hot coffee and tasty treats, to Horsefeathers, the eclectic store that has been at 129 N. Genesee Street for over 30 years, small businesses downtown and around the country are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. According to the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer support for independently-owned businesses is increasing. More than three quarters of shoppers say they will be spending more or the same amount on Small Business Saturday as they did last year, providing independent businesses with a welcome boost in sales.

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“We all enjoy knowing the people we’re buying from and knowing we’ll see the same friendly faces every time we visit the merchant,” said Jane Ferry, Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street.

“The downtown corridor will be busy all day from Grand Avenue to Lake Street and West Street to Sheridan Road. Along with the stores and restaurants, we’ll have five galleries – Tufo’s Galerie, Sidecar Studios, Karcher 405, Wildwood Studio and Dandelion Gallery – open this year, too!  The galleries offer a wide variety of art at a range of prices.  Being open will give artists a chance to meet their patrons, and consumers will also walk away with a one-of-a-kind gifts.”

WMS Mike A at Edward Jones

Dandelion Gallery’s featured artist in November is Mary Clare Jakes who will have ceramic ornaments, soap dishes, flower vases and jewelry priced from $10- $25 as well as larger ceramic art pieces from $45 – $200.  Lezlie Lenz will have her 1000 Angels series in holiday cards as well as cards by Bob Nonnemaker.  Sandie Bacon will bring her unique jewelry. Amy Lynn Ross’s ornaments using her unique acrylic cut-out style are on display. Check out other stops, sales and specials here.

WMS Your This and That Shop

Held each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods and downtowns around the country. Five years after its inception, half of US consumers report that they are aware of and take part in Small Business Saturday. Just as important, 77% say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop small all year long.  “Waukegan Main Street encourages people to spend money in locally-owned businesses throughout the year,” said Ferry.  “Money spent in these local, independent businesses has three times the impact on our community as money spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement, and promote community development.”

WMS Patrick Tufo

Some businesses are having Small Business Saturday specials, such up to 50% off of merchandise at Alfredo’s Treasure Chest, 105 S. Genesee.  Another special are half-priced hamburgers and sandwiches for lunch at 17 North when people show a receipt from a local business.  “Hopefully that will encourage people to stay downtown longer,” said 17 North owner Tom LeBaron, located at 17 N. Genesee.

American Express is encouraging people to spend more by offering Card a $10 statement credit when they register then use their registered Card to spend $10 or more on a single in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location. Card Members can take advantage of this offer up to three times on the day. Registration is available at ShopSmall.com.

“We’re hoping for good weather and lots of ringing registers,” said Ferry.

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Shop on Small Business Saturday

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It seems impossible that Small Business Saturday is nearly here.  Waukegan Main Street has been working with the downtown merchants to make sure that November 29th, the fifth annual celebration of small businesses,  will take place again this year.

Check out what been planned so far – we are adding participating businesses all the time – what’s going on and when their doors open.  And remember, out of $1.00 spent at a local, neighborhood merchant, 68 cents returns to the community.

Shop local and enjoy!

AmazonSmile, Main Street and You

AmazonSmile is a program where Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization selected by their customers – and Waukegan Main Street is one of those charitable organizations!  To participate as a shopper and supporter, click the “Get Started” button below or go to http://smile.amazon.com, sign in to your Amazon account … and voila!  That’s all it takes!  You should see a “Supporting: Waukegan Main Street” above your name at the very top of the page.

Bookmark the link to AmazonSmile and use it every time you make an Amazon purchase. Thank you for supporting Waukegan Main Street.

Happy shopping!

Waukegan Main Street

New Leaders at Waukegan Main Street

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WAUKEGAN, IL  September 29, 2014 — A new Strategic Plan, new Officers and new Board members were the highlights of Waukegan Main Street’s Annual Meeting.  The event provides Waukegan Main Street members the opportunity to vote on leadership for the downtown organization as well as network with business leaders, active citizens and volunteers.

Business leaders and citizens at WMS Annual Meeting.

Retaining their positions as President and Secretary respectively were Jamie O’Meara and Dulce “Candy” Ortiz.  Seated as Vice President is John Quinn, of the law firm Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd. in Grayslake, and as Treasurer is Megan McKenna de Mejia, Executive Director of Mano a Mano in Round Lake.  “After the busy and productive year we’ve had, it’s wonderful to have consistency of two officers staying for another term,” said Jane Ferry, Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street.  “And we look forward to the creative ideas and direction from the new officers as well.”  All four officers live in Waukegan.

Joining the Board as new members are Tamika Jones and Karen Nystrom.  Jones is a Human Resources professional at Baxter Healthcare, specializing in early talent programs. She grew up in Waukegan’s Third Ward and is a graduate of Waukegan High School and Illinois State University. She recently moved back to the area and began volunteering with Waukegan Main Street in 2013, becoming Promotions Committee Chair shortly thereafter. Nystrom was raised in the north suburbs and serves as the director of advocacy for the Financial Planning Association, a national membership organization for financial planning professionals with 23,000 members and 93 chapters.  She has 15 years of experience in both the 501c3 and 501c6 non-profit areas and in state government legislative work.

Megan

McKenna de Mejia was the featured speaker at the event, giving the highlights of Waukegan Main Street’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2018.  “Megan took the lead on completing our Strategic Plan which had been in the works for two years.  Through those efforts, we reworked our Mission and Vision statements to more accurately reflect our concentration and included easy-to-understand bullet points as our Core Values,” said Ferry.  The Strategic Plan positions Waukegan Main Street to be the lead convener and champion of the downtown and lakefront, building on existing assets through coalition-based action and community engagement, while balancing the past and the future.  Also presenting were Board President Jamie O’Meara, Membership Chair Sandy Petroshius and Executive Director Jane Ferry giving a year in review.

“Over the next month or so, we will have meetings to engage – and re-engage – people of action throughout the community,” Ferry said. “We have inspired leadership and we look forward to the positive effects we can have when we all work together.”  The meeting was held at the Waukegan Yacht Club.

Photos of the Annual Meeting were taken by Ali Albakri and can be found here.